Eye Deceases

(H11.0) Pterygium

Peterygium is a very abnormal physical and mental condition. Same like the name of the disease it is a very complicated disease which can affect any person. The disease is also known as ‘Surfer’s Eye’ and conjunctiva. There is a small growth of conjunctiva which overlaps the eye ball. This condition is very critical and needs to be attended as soon as possible. It is observed to be caused by intense exposure to ultraviolet rays or dust. It can also be caused due to low humidity. The extension grows commonly from the nasal side. This condition is observed because the sunlight passes from the nasal side in an unobstructed way.

The condition is characterized by webbing of the skin on the eye. The condition can only be treated surgically. Another important characteristic of this condition is it also has a substantial effect on the mental health of the person. Therefore it is also considered to be a mental disorder in chronic cases.

ICD-10 H11.0
ICD-9 372.4
DiseasesDB 10916
MedlinePlus 001011
eMedicine oph/542
MeSH D011625

Pterygium Causes

The causes of ptergium are extreme exposure to sunlight, i.e. ultraviolet rays. Due to the ultraviolet rays this abnormality is developed. Other causes of this abnormality are dust and low humidity. Due to climatic conditions where there is very low humidity one is prone to get affected by this disease.

There are many other factors which cause this disease but not all are known as of now. The major factors which cause this condition are ultraviolet and infrared rays. The other environmental elements like dust and wind also play a major role in causing this condition.

Pterygium Pathology

The medical description of the pterygium is given as a flesh growth that overlaps the cornea and causes visual discomfort. This is a very abnormal condition where the white layer of the eyeball (conjunctiva) is over grown and invades the cornea. It can be described as a yellow patch or a bump on the eyeball which can only be removed surgically. It doesn’t fit the description of a tumor but it looks similar to a minute tumor. It is basically a deposit of protein and fat on the eyeball.

The different segments which comprise a pterygium are

  • Fuch’s patch
  • Stocker’s line
  • Hood
  • Head
  • Body
  • Superior edge
  • Inferior edge

Pterygium Symptoms

There are many stages which a pterygium undergoes before the overgrowth is complete. Some of the important symptoms which will help in diagnosing this condition are

  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Persistent redness
  • Constant sensation of a foreign body in your eye
  • Tearing of the skin which causes bleeding
  • The eyes become very dry and lubrication of the eyeball is not high
  • There is a disturbed vision as the overgrowth obstructs the cornea

If the above mentioned symptoms are observed it is advised to immediately consult an eye specialist.

Pterygium Treatment

The treatment for pterygium is to surgically remove the overgrowth. The modern medical treatments have come up with various techniques of treating this condition. Some of the most suggested options are irradiation, conjunctival auto-grafting and amniotic membrane transplantation. If the case is not chronic then there is no need of surgery as the overgrowth would be benign. In case of a chronic condition of pterygium, as the overgrowth extends to the cornea, it is removed with glue and suture application.

In cases where there is a chance of a relapse of the condition then Strontium plaque therapy is used. The beta particles of the element curb the possibility of a regrowth of the blood vessels. This treatment is done on local anesthesia.

Pterygium Prevention Method

Some of the prevention methods of this condition are listed below

Sunglasses with side shield will help you avoid your eyes from contacting direct sunlight.

This condition is mostly observed in water sport athletes. They should protect their eyes by using proper eye gear.